Parents hope for middle ground on transgender bathroom bill - WNEM TV 5

Parents hope for middle ground on transgender bathroom bill

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Morgan Whitman faces a very real dilemma every day.

"Sometimes you have to use the other bathroom because you just don't feel safe," Whitman said.

He is a transgender male, born female but now identifies as a man, making a decision most of us take for granted, like which restroom to use, much more complicated.

And now state lawmakers are getting involved, at least when it comes to our school systems.

A bill being proposed in Lansing would force transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match the sex listed on their birth certificate.

That's not sitting well with Whitman.

"That's where I want to go, I'm a man. I go to the men's restroom," Whitman said.

But the bill getting some support from some local parents.

Mary Beth Binder and Sheryl Dewyse watched their kids play baseball at Swan Valley High School.

"You should use whatever bathroom relates to the equipment you were given at birth," Binder said.

But Dewyse suggests a totally different plan altogether that may satisfy both sides of the heated debate: creating unisex bathrooms.

"I think it would be a good idea to have separate bathrooms for your specified gender, and then if somebody's uncomfortable going there then they have a specific bathroom," Dewyse said.

Whitman said every time he needs to use the restroom in public, it's a horrifying experience.

He feels the bill may make things even worse for transgender youth.

"It really hurts me. And it hurts the trans community, a lot," Whitman said. "Especially for the younger people, the children even, when it's a really confusing time in their life."

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